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A Month of Sundays Part 2

Short story By: Shaun Sharif
Romance



Love makes you do crazy things.


Submitted:May 3, 2014    Reads: 26    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


The drive home in the dreary winter weather and rush hour traffic was depressing more so that usual. Freezing testicles and all. The windscreen wipers were beating a manic staccato rhythm that was as monotonous as the rain fall. I tried to keep my eyes open and to concentrate, sleep was trying to seduce me into its warm embrace.
She didn't reappear as I had hoped she would. I was going mad, or madder, with loss all over again. The same questions I had asked the first time came up kicking and screaming from the recesses of my mind, as they had done when she had first disappeared; why? What did I do to drive her away? Why didn't she even say goodbye?

I had exhausted all avenues in my desperate search for her. All leads, big and small, had turned out to be dead ends and wild goose chances. It was as if she had vanished off the face if the earth. I'd even reported her missing, but a year on the trail was as cold as the chill wind that blew outside the car window.

The next day was basically the same, the only noticeable difference I cared anything about was her absence. Maybe my mind had finally had enough of deluding itself and revoked my hearts petition. Maybe at the point of breaking into a thousand shards my brain stopped thinking of that thing that would drive it over the edge into an abyss of madness. Maybe I was finally healing after her loss, my broken mind telling my broken heart to man up. I missed her so much it was physically painful. I realised how much her construct had become a crutch for me to lean on, but then again "you don't know what you've got till it's gone" they say. 'They' also say things like; "tis better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all" what total cow dung! Whoever said that obviously had only ever experienced love with his hairy palmed hand!

I checked over my vehicle for the day, my panda car, as I did every time I took a job car out. No one wants to be stuck on for a dent or scratch they didn't cause. I was in a zombie like trance. I didn't say much and this did not go unnoticed by my workmates. "You okay Jon, you seem a bit elsewhere today, more than usual?"
I didn't have to look up to see who that was. Dylan had come outside into the cold yard for his morning fag, technically probably his third or forth of the day, but the first since he'd clocked on.
"I'm okay mate, just thinking about Nichola" I replied.
"I'd guessed, I can't even begin to guess what you're feeling"
"No shit Sherlock" I thought to myself.
"I'll be okay dude, just need some time, you know?" I offered, much like a plate of duck pâté to a hungry vegetarian. He looked at me with an expression on his his face that told me he believed two things about what I was saying; Jack and shit, and Jack had just left town.

Weary checklists done with, I sat in the car, the engine idling away, I felt like a lead weight was attached to my head and my insides were ablaze, burning to cinders as my minds eye saw her again and again in different scenarios and situations. It drove me to despair. The yard where I sat idling was small, the size of a couple of tennis courts at most, the walls were lined with parked cars as was the quad in the middle. It formed an island of vehicles that you had to drive around to come back on yourself and face the main gate again. Officers and office workers filed past me, alone and braced against the cold, or in twos or thees, going about whatever business or reasons had dragged them out of bed this cold morning. None of them bothered to look at the idling panda car or it's occupant. Just as well, I don't really fancy an audience when I'm quietly weeping to myself.
The pain came rolling back in waves, the pain I hadn't really ever dealt with, just masked away under layers of denial and fantasy, layers I'd constructed over months. My flight into the madness to avoid the grief.
I tried to stifle the racking sobs and stem the tears that were streaking down my face and falling onto my stab vest, but like words wheeling out of control from a writer on a roll, I couldn't stop myself.
I don't know how long I sat there, crying like a teenager watching his crush dating another, cooler kid.
I don't know how many radio calls went unanswered. I knew there would be consequences but I just didn't give a fart in a windstorm, I guess I hadn't for a long time.

The air became ice cold in the car, I didn't notice it at first but gradually I dragged myself out of the self pity I had so enthusiastically thrown myself into and noticed that my breath was misting in the car. I was breathing heavily now, I put that down to the sobbing and not the generally poor state of my fitness. Some vivid realisation came to me in an instant and I shot a look over to the passages seat.
There she was, God above, there she was. For a second I was the happiest man alive, eyes wide and heart beating a manic tune in my chest. That all melted away in the microseconds it took me to realise that she was not what I was expecting at all.
Her mascara was running down her face and her eyes were red raw, her cheeks were streaked with blackened tears and she wore a a look on her beautiful face that painted a picture, which in turn spoke a thousand words. Words like despair, sadness, loss, anguish, torment and disbelief. Her eyes had always burned brightly, but were now blank, devoid of any mirth and warmth. I sat there stating at her, my breath forming small, short lived white clouds of respiration. She was mute, save for the sound of her breathing. "How?" She finally breathed, her voice a flat monotone, no pleading or desperation to be detected. She was numb, in shock.
"Baby I don't understand" I started. "What in god's name is going on?" The sorrow and pain came back to me in a wave and I felt hot tears run down my cold cheeks again. And just like that she was gone again.
"No, please don't go" I sobbed at her.
"I need you"

I rested my head against the steering wheel and wept again. My man points total was running in the minus to the tune of hundreds in deficit. Reason 54 she left me.

The radio came to life again "Unit to assist now please, deliver a death message to a next of kin" said the dreadfully bored operator. "Man the fuck up Jon" I said to myself. "You have a duty and a job to do, so go do it"
I wiped away the tears from my eyes, still feeling like a tonne of wet shit but a little lighter than before and assigned myself to the call. Waiting until I had cleared my throat so I fired sound like I'd just woken up from a snooze. Or just finished bawling my eyes out.

I drove to the address drained of all energy and emotion. It's like my heart and mind were finally giving up on me.
I had heard several frantic calls from colleagues about some incident going on someplace else in town. Sounded pretty hairy by all accounts. Officers injured and further units to assist. I was too far away and in a panda to respond but put up to assist anyway. "Control do you require me to divert to the emergency call?" I asked emotionlessly. "All units stand by, armed response in en route, keep the airwaves clear. Papa Eight One? That's a negative, stay away from the scene, shots have been fired" "Shit", I thought, this was as serious as it got, but someone was expected to take up the slack while everyone else was running to it and that fell to the humble panda driver. Besides, Id just get in the way or get myself killed.

I took me a while to get to the address, I normally hated death messages; telling a next of kin that their father, mother, brother or whatever had been found 'brown bread'. It's something that didn't get any easier with time and experience. Today I just didn't care about anything. I was on auto-pilot. I parked my car up rather haphazardly on the side of the road and walked to the address.
It was so cold I could feel the chill driving into my bones and my teeth began to chatter.

The house was a semi detached one with a small, well kept garden and white picket fence. A model of suburban, middle class living. I knocked on the door. Not bothering with the doorbell. Three hard knocks; standard, regulation door knocking procedure.
No answer. I rang the doorbell this time. Just to make sure no one was home, but the distinct lack of door opening put the matter to bed. I was about to radio the control room with a result of 'no reply, repeated knocking' when I heard the door handle turn and open.
A gaunt man, who looked like he was about to die himself, stood in the door way. His skin was pale and his eyes were dark and squinted, he was wearing pyjamas and must have been in his 50s, judging by the lines on his face and silver hair. He just stared at me, he didn't say anything and was intensely disturbing me. I couldn't quite put my finger on it but there was something strange and disconcerting about him.
Better introduce myself, I thought, always a good ice breaker. "Sorry to disturb you sir, I'm PC Law from.." "Why are you here?" He interrupted. If I had composure to regain I would have, but I wasn't even registering his blasé attitude
"Sir can I come in please I have.."
"You're not supposed to be here" he interrupted again and slammed the door on me. Now I've heard some strange things in my career, I once had an argument with a prisoner about the wonders of Michael Jackson, but this was Olympic Gold standards of batshit crazy. I couldn't just walk away so I rang the doorbell again. He had to know, just because he didn't like old bill didn't mean I was absolved of my duty to the old git. After a short wait I he opened the door again, wide open. The smell was awful. I suppressed a gag and said; "sir I'm very sorry but there is something I must tell you"
"I know what you're here for. I know for Gods sake!" He shouted at me. His face had turned into a grimace of pain and his voice was breaking. Some relative must have already told him about the untimely death of his sibling, wonderful, he's about to have a bloody heart attack now. "Sir, please try to stay calm, it's about Stewart, your brother" I said, trying in inject some empathy into my voice.
"Stewart Holloway?" He asked, his voice trembling.
"Yes sir" I replied.
"May I please come in, I'll put the kettle on and make us a cuppa and then we can talk" I offered.
"I am Stewart Holloway" he cried, "I'm dead"
I stood in mute shock. What what flying fuck was going on? This man was clearly insane, says the guy who's imaginary friend is his missing girlfriend.
"I'm dead and so are you, you fool, you can't let go either" he cried out and before I could say anything he slammed the door shut again.
I stood there in inaction for maybe a few minuets longer than I should have. Dumbfounded. Now I've said already that I've heard some seriously crazy things in my time. But this was way beyond crazy, this bloke was the poster boy for insanity. The irony of that was not lost on me.
I was thinking about the legality of kicking the old geezers door in when my radio came to life.
"Control, suspected shooter in in custody, armed units have secured him and the firearm" I didn't recognise the voice. Must have been the cross city armed units control had requested to assist us. "I have six, repeat six officer wounded and one fatally. Paramedics are taking the injured officers to trauma wards now with police escort. The deceased officer is in situ and the venue is now a crime scene" oh my god, I thought. One of my colleagues was dead and half a dozen injured. My heart sank. A list formulated in my mind; 'please don't be one of these' and 'I'm sad but Cest la vie' it was a dark thing to do but it's a coping mechanism I guess.
The radio came to life again; "unit on scene please update the name and shoulder number of the officers injured and the.....deceased officer so we can note it for the running incident log"
I listened in intently. All other concerns forgotten about.
"PCs Rook, Mackenzie, Lowe, Macafferty, Downing and Sergeant Townsend are in ambulances en route to hospitals as we speak"
Oh god no, I thought, Dylan and the skipper, along with Derek 'Prada' Lowe, they were friends of mine. I hoped they were going to be okay and wished I knew the extent of their injuries. The unknown officer continued, his voice hard and sombre; "control the code zero is PC Jon Law, life was pronounced extinct at 1231 hours by paramedics, please contact the coroners office and the duty officer so that next of kin can be made aware"
My blood froze and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. This is a mistake, they must have mixed up our shoulder numbers, I reasoned. "Control this is PC Law" I transmitted. "I'm quite alive" I said with a small, deflated chuckle. Silence was my only response from the radio. I tried to transmit again "Control from PC Law" I said again, panic slowly creeping into my voice. "Control respond please". Tumbleweed. I hit the emergency transmit button on the radio that cut through all other transmissions and was a tool of last resort for officers in need of urgent assistance. "PC Law to control room. Receiving?"
Still no response, the radio was working as it would sound a transmit tone whenever I pressed the talk button. The whole channel was dead. 'Dead' I thought, fuck me what a joke. I mean. I'm alive! I'm right fucking here. Of all the things to go wrong when you've been mistakenly listed as killed on duty, the comms system had to go on the blink! The old timer with Alzheimer's forgotten, I jumped back into my panda and drove to the scene of the shootings. I tried to calm myself down, to regulate my breathing, 'it's all a huge cock up with that out of town help, they fucked up the shoulder numbers in all the chaos and confusion, typical' I reassured myself. They'll shit their pants when they see me rocking up ha!
This would be a tad funny I thought, thought not for the poor officer who had actually been shot dead. Who was that then? I guessed I'd find out soon enough.
Driving through the traffic was murderous now I had somewhere I be in a hurry!
God alive, I was so tempted to fire up the roof and sirens and carve a path through the gridlock, but I'd be neck deep in the brown sticky stuff if I did. The cons far out weighted the pros on this one.
"It'll be over soon Jon" a soothing voice cooed in my ear. My heart jumped into my throat, and I shot my face around to the passenger seat. It was Nichola, sitting a clear as day in the passenger seat. She was so painfully beautiful. I wanted to stop the car and hug her, hold her close me to me and smell her hair, to kiss her soft, smooth skin and never let her go again.
"Baby" I blurted out, "what happened where did you go?" My mind was swimming in confusion now. Drowning in a whirlpool of madness.
"It'll be over soon" she said, every syllable as smooth as silk. She reached out and touched the back of my neck, her hand was warm and comforting. The maelstrom of emotion and contradiction receded far away and I was left with just her love, her longing and her touch.
For the first time in what seemed like an age I was calm and happy again. She was here and so was I and I was happy.

I arrived at the police cordon and parked my car in front of it rear red lights blinking. There was a large crowd gathered at either side of the road on the footways, some were, inevitably, filming and taking photos. A small fleet of ambulances and police cars were parked up just inside the scene, their collective disco lights going off like a Jean Michel Jarre concert. No need to worry about causing an obstruction when the entire road was closed off. The cordon officer didn't even look at me. I guessed because she didn't know what to say to someone who'd just lost a colleague and who's friends were in hospital.
I walked into the crime scene under the police tape and straight to the nearest officer I could find with some spaghetti on their shoulders. I saw my Inspector talking to Dolph, they had their backs to me so couldn't see me approaching.
My relief were all here, so they must all know by now that the code zero was for the wrong officer, maybe they wouldn't think I was some phantom after all. In any case I had to show my face. If for nothing else than my own sanity.
It had somehow gotten colder and my teeth were chattering again.
"Guv" I said, trying to interject in his conversation with the skipper.
"Sir?"
Again he ignored me.
"He was troubled, but he was a good bloke, he didn't deserve this" Dolph said to the Guv. Last Word was there too, his face was sullen and gaunt.
"Who's his next of kin?" The Inspector asked.
"We've sent a unit round there already, his Fiancée" replied Dolph. His voice as quiet and deep as ever. Their conversation were muted and cold, like they didn't want anyone else to hear what they were saying.
"Sarge" I said, a little louder than before. Dolph looked right at me, but didn't say a word. I could see some grief in his expression. He looked away and past my shoulder. I looked over at Last Word, who on turn was looking over at the crime scene. He hadn't responded either.
I walked away, leaving them to their grief. Who was the code zero then? My mind raced. I walked to the inner cordon where crime scene investigators and CID were standing around discussing how to obtain best evidence and all that wonderful jazz. I walked past them. Surprised that no one had stopped me. Then again I was an officer, who'd have reason to?
I came to the scene itself. The air was colder here again, the wind was still and the sky was white with cloud cover. It was miserable. Some forensics officers were in the process of putting a tent up to shield the body of the officer from the elements and prying eyes. I walked straight up to him, it was a him judging by the build and short hair. A tanned male. He was wearing identical uniform to me, nothing unusual there, all officers wore the same.
His face was greying, despite his tanned skin and his eyes were closed lazily, His mouth slightly open, he was sprawled on in the middle of the road, a small pool of blood trailing from a vicious wound in his neck. His face, I couldn't recognise his face, who is he?

He was looking away from me, facing away as if to deliberately hide his identity. I didn't want to get any closer incase of the resident detectives started harping on about "destroying evidence" or "forensics" or some other shit. I walked around him in a large arc, giving the actual spot a wide birth. As I came to his face I knelt down and looked at his features directly.
His face was hazy, as if it was blurred.
I strained to focus, squinting my eyes and turning my head. Looking at him made me slightly queasy.
Slowly his features came into focus. He looked a bit like me, actually, ha! I can see where they made their mistake. It was my face.
Wait, no, It was my fucking face! No! No! No!
My mind went blank, cold, numb. I couldn't think. I couldn't process what I was seeing anymore! He had my face, my hair, my stubble. My face. He was me. How? How can this be possible?
I was on my knees breathing hard. The wind knocked out of me. It felt like my mind was breaking. The support columns and patchwork beams groaning and bending under the sheer weight of what my eyes now saw, even closed, the image seared into my retinas like I'd been staring at the sun too long.
My radio burst into life again,
"Nichola, please sit down, it's about Jon" my radio whispered.
I unclipped it from its dock on my vest. And held it in front of me. Eyes wide.
"What's happened? She pleaded, panic in her voice"
"There was an incident this afternoon, a man with a pistol was shooting at people" It was Pete's voice, it's musical northern tone subdued and full of sadness, "Jon and Dylan were first on scene, they were trying to clear the street when he saw them and shot at them. Jon was shot once, in the neck, he was running towards the gunman. The paramedics did all they could. I'm sorry Nichola"
"Oh no! He's dead?" she breathed, in shock.
I tried to transmit but the channel wouldn't let me. The sound of her wailing sobs permeated the channel.
"I'm not fucking dead!" I screamed, but no one took notice.
"I'M NOT DEAD" I screamed, I scrambled to my feet and was about to run to the nearest poor sod I could find and scream that into their face!
I felt a hand on my shoulder and looked around. There she stood, her gorgeously layered auburn hair shinning in the muted sun light, her retinas were like diamonds in pools of mahogany in contrast to the pearls of her eyes. Her beautiful warm smile melted all my worries away in an instant.
"You've stayed here too long Jon" she spoke. Her voice smooth and soft.
"You've tormented yourself enough, it's time to leave the hurt behind"
I was awestruck and my mouth couldn't form words.
"What? W-what the hell are you talking about?" I stammered.
"Jon, you died here, a long time ago, and this is how you died" she explained.
"This has all happened before and it will keep on happening unless you break the cycle"
Now I was really confused. "I don't understand any of this, I don't remember it" I spat. I didn't know what to make of any of this. She continued; "You weren't ready to leave, no one really is. Your life ended suddenly. You felt you had more to do, and you didn't want to be apart from the one thing that mattered above all else to you"
"You" I whispered slowly. I'd sunk down to my knees again and felt tears running down my face, hiccuping sobs came forth and she held me close to her. I buried my face in her shoulder and let out all the hurt and frustration inside me. "I can't live without you" I breathed to her.
"You can't die without me either Jon" she replied. My mind had turned into ice cream, frozen and slowly melting into a thick goo. "What's happening?" I asked between sobs.
"You asked that then, as you do now Jon" she replied. "In fact you ask and say almost exactly the same things every time we meet here" I pulled away from her slightly, so I could look at her face. "What do you mean?" I croaked, "how many times have I been here?"
I really wasn't ready for her answer, "you've been living through the same thing, time and again, for years now" she whispered.
"I am all that you created. You made me, your pain gave me form, your love gave me thought. But I was a fantasy you for yourself. Despite that I have tried to rip you out of this make believe world so many times. At first I just refused to manifest, I disappeared and hoped you would abandon this charade. But you adapted and I was missing, so I came back as a 'figment' of your imagination. To try and coax you into realising that all this, the people, the wind, the cold, this world is not real and you must let it go. But you always insist on staying. You go back to the start, hoping things will be different, but you don't remember and nothing changes"

Fragments of memory tumbled into my consciousness like leaves in the wind hitting a wire fence and getting stuck against it.

Holloway, Stewart Holloway, ex army veteran with post traumatic stress, he'd gone postal with a pistol in the street where he'd lived. It all fell into place, like a jigsaw puzzle that would drive you mad of you ever put it all together.

The full understanding of what was happening finally hit me like a tonne of wet shit. I had died, shot by an ex squadie with PTS. But I didn't want to leave her, I loved her too much, so my soul had stayed in this limbo land and tried to formulate the life that had been stolen from me. I had made her, but as a monument to my sins she had become aware of this place and wanted me to leave it. It wasn't heaven or hell. It was a purgatory of half life and fantasy. Even in death her love would save me.

A thought suddenly stuck me. "Where is Nichola? Is she alright?" I asked, my voice breaking.

"She is living her life as best as she can. She is trying to move on. Her pain will fade in time" She replied.

"I want to go to see her" I demanded. "Take me to her" She looked at me sadly and shook her head gently.

"It doesn't work like that, this isn't the world as it is now, this is the memories and emotions of your soul, Jon, you've been fooling yourself for a very long time" he eyes were pleading with me, begging me to understand my folly.

"Come with me" she cooed, and outstretched her slender arm to me.

I took hold of her hand in a heartbeat, just to touch her if nothing else. I stood me up drew her close to me, I held her against my body so that I could feel her warmth. I placed my hands around her waist and brought them around to her back, holding just a little tighter. It came as natural as breathing to us. The first kiss was gentle, her mouth met mine and our love bled into the world as we sealed our lips together, she always tilted her head the right way and I mine. I kissed her and she kissed me back, her arms wrapped around my neck and shoulders. We stood there in our embrace for what seemed like eons, but even eons can't be long enough. Our kissing had become more and more intense, more passionate, I let out all the frustration and pain I had bottled up inside me. I became unaware of the world around me. I felt her hand on my cheek and I framed her face with mine, stroking her cheeks with my thumbs. I was in paradise.

I'd like to say there was a flash of light and an angel choir or even a golden stairway leading up to the clouds, or maybe even something cheesy like the ending of Ghost where the dude ascends into heaven. But I just woke up here, under this weirdly comfortable tree, warm and cozy. I don't know where I am or who you even are.

The older man sat next to Jon patiently, calmly, like he was in a place of complete tranquility. He was older than Jon. His tanned skin had deep lines in it, and his short grey hair was thick and straight. It glinted in the sunlight.

Jon thought that he may have finally come to heaven and if so, was this man an angel? A fellow denizen of Eden? Surely not the big cheese himself?

"Heh" the old Man chuckled. "I'm not God or an angel"

Jon didn't react, not outwardly at least. "Then who are you?" Jon asked. "And what is this place?"

"The only thing I know for sure is that you have slipped the surly bonds of mortal life and come here, your first stop. in this place you must make a choice" the old man explained. "That and you swear an awful lot" he added.

Jon chuckled, "sorry, I feel like a schoolboy being told off my his home room teacher"

"You're not too far off Jon" chuckled the old man. "But you do have to make a choice, you see, Heaven or Elysium or Janat or whatever you want to call it is a subjective thing, it caters for the individual, thus it moulds itself to be the perfect thing for the one moulding it. Whatever your dreams or hopes or fantasies. It will be made for you, according to your needs and wants" Jon looked interested and listened intently to the old man.

"Anything I want" Jon asked, eyes burning bright. "Anything" the old man replied. "Just remember that God will be watching you, so I wouldn't personally fashion a never ending bordello" the old man joked, his smile friendly and disarming. The old man had the innate ability to put ones mind at ease.

"Who are you old man" Jon asked. "I'm just your homeroom teacher" the old man replied. Jon's curiosity wasn't satisfied;

"What's your name? You already know mine" he asked. The old man smiled to himself and looked down at the soft, green grass they were both sitting on, it was lush and well kept, he was quite proud of it. He looked up at the new comer who had been telling him his story.

"I've had a few names over the years, tell you what Jon, you can call me what you'd like" he smiled at Jon mirthfully. Jon leaned back onto the tree and thought for a second. "I don't know Teach, I don't think I'm quite qualified to give you a name" he said. Teach chuckled again, "I think you just did". The both sat there for a while, enjoying the warm air and comfortable surroundings. The sun never seemed to dim or move, Jon noted, he been here for, God, how long had he been here? It must have been hours. He didn't feel tired or thirsty or hungry at all. "Are we the only ones here?" He asked Teach.

"No Jon, we most certainly aren't, there are lots of travellers here, on their own journeys, some together, some alone, some will meet again, some won't. We all must keep moving until we find our home" Jon looked at Teach. "Home?" He asked. "Home is wherever you want it to be" Teach replied.

"I know where home is" Jon said. "I want to go there now"

"You miss her that much Jon?" Teach asked. "That's my paradise" Jon replied, self assuredness flowing through him. He picked himself up from under the shade of the tree and outstretched a hand down to Teach.

Teach looked up and grasped Jon's hand, allowing himself to be helped up to his feet. "I'm getting too old for this Jon, I think it's due time I thought about finishing my journey too" he said.

"Wait, you haven't told me anything about yourself" Jon said. "What's your story" he asked.

Teach chuckled and looked at Jon. His eyes were blue and sparkled. "Mine is a story that's been told a fair few times, the names have changed and so has the setting, but it's not too dissimilar to yours" he said.

A slight breeze picked up and gently shook the grass and the leaves of the tree.

"I'd like to go home now teacher" Jon said. Teach placed a hand on Jon's shoulder and smiled, "you know what Jon, so would I" He chuckled again. Teach paced away from Jon and began to walk away slowly. An older woman had come into view and was waving at him, "Ranjha!" She shouted. Teach stopped and turned to face Jon. He grinned at Jon, it was a warm and mirthful smile and said; "class dismissed Jon"

...

He lay there for a few seconds while his eyes readjusted to the light. A nights worth of mucus gluing the lids together.

The alarm was still blaring some half remembered song He'd selected as his wake up call. It was annoyingly catchy and annoyingly loud to boot. He stabbed at the phone with his finger furiously, still half asleep, all shots were off target except the last, well aimed one He actually managed to open one eye for, like some dying sniper with one last, desperate kill shot to make. His finger caught the snooze button and the obnoxiously loud music was mercifully silenced.

He rolled over and pulled the duvet closer over himself; the 'five more minuets' manoeuvre, and lay there still and quiet. The sound of birds chirping outside and the sound of rubber on wet Tarmac going by in the near distance told him it was morning.

He thought if He could get away with calling in sick today but just as quickly dismissed the idea. He had too much to do at work and people wouldn't take kindly to their skipper taking a sickie.

It took one, maybe two seconds before he felt her warm arm wrap around his chest from behind. The alarm had obviously woken her too. "Morning kitten" he said softly to her, clearing his throat. He felt the warmth of her skin against his own and smiled to himself. He slowly turned around to face her and held her close. "Morning baby" she replied groggily. He leant forward and planted a kiss on her forehead which made her smile, eyes still closed. She looked so, so beautiful, he thought. The light from the window that was managing to break through the blockade imposed by the curtains illuminated her, made her lightly tanned skin glow. "You have to go to work baby" she added as an after thought.

"I'm right where I want to be kitten" He replied. Her eyes opened and he fell deeper in love with her. He had a habit of doing that whenever she made eye contact.

Reason 5 they were together.

"You need to go or you'll be late Sergeant Law" she teased. "Go?" He retorted. "Not on a month of Sundays" and rolled over on to her to plant a soft kiss on her lips.

They had showered and dressed together, as they did most mornings. Sitting at the breakfast table she handed him a parcel that had arrived in the post for him. "What is it?" She asked excitedly. "Is it a kitten?" Her face lit up at the impossible thought. He looked at her and raised an eyebrow to her obvious joke and smiled, noting that he hadn't brought the kitten he'd promised her yet. Maybe on the way home from work today he'd pop into a pet store.

He opened the parcel and laid it's contents on the table. "Not a kitty I'm afraid babe, it's a book" he replied.

She pouted her face in mock anguish and picked up the book. "Heer Ranjha. What made you get this?" She asked, slightly puzzled.

"You know something honey? I can't remember"





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